According to Vranich's blog, “The top five destinations are (1) Texas, (2) Arizona, (3) Colorado, (4) Nevada and Utah tied; and (5) Virginia and North Carolina tied.”
California is understandably bitter about it. In his recent “State of the State” speech, California Gov. Jerry Brown railed against the state of Texas — which he acknowledges is luring California residents, money and businesses in droves.
“Contrary to those declinists who sing of Texas and bemoan our woes, California is still the land of dreams,” Brown said. “It's the place where Apple... and countless other creative companies all began.”
That last part is true enough; but Apple recently announced an expansion of its Austin facility, to include approximately 3,600 new jobs and $8.6 million in infrastructure improvements.
It's not hard to see why. In April, Forbes magazine nicknamed the Golden State “Taxifornia.”
The state combines “a relatively large burden of government with a poorly structured tax system. This double-whammy strongly discourages residents from working hard, saving and investing, which again are the basis for strong and prosperous economies,” it says.
Former California assemblyman Chuck DeVore recently wrote that “California's elected officials are particularly adept at dreaming up ways to spend other people's money. While the state struggles with interminable deficits caused by years of reckless spending, the argument in Sacramento isn't over how to reduce government; rather, it's over how much to raise taxes and on whom.”
“Of course, having more government employees means making more government rules,” DeVore adds. “According to a 2009 study commissioned by the California legislature, state regulations cost almost $500 billion per year, or five times the state's general-fund budget. These regulations ding the average small business for some $134,122 a year in compliance and opportunity costs.”
Though California has more state employees, Texas has more teachers.
“The two states' educational outcomes reflect this disparity,” DeVore says. “If we compare national test scores in math, science, and reading for the fourth and eighth grades among four basic ethnic and racial categories — all students, whites, Hispanics, and African-Americans — Texas beats California in every category, and by a substantial margin.”
It's not enough to pat ourselves on the back for not being California. Texas lawmakers will soon be grappling with the tough topics of school finance and the business franchise tax.
Let's keep Texas a state worth leaving California for.